Prominent Abortion Provider Murdered at Church -- UPDATED
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sun May 31, 2009 at 02:04:28 PM EST
Dr. George Tiller, a prominent abortion provider who has been the target of mass protests, arson at his clinic, attempted murder (shot in both arms) and more, was shot to death while attending church.  The Wichita Eagle reports:

WICHITA - George Tiller, the Wichita doctor who became a national lightning rod in the debate over abortion, was shot to death Sunday morning as he walked into church services.

Tiller was shot just after 10 a.m. at Reformation Lutheran Church at 7601 E. 13th, where he was a member of the congregation. Witnesses and a police source confirmed Tiller was the victim.

We have written a great deal here at Talk to Action about the harrassment of Dr. Tiller at the hands of Operation Rescue, and now that this has happened, it is likely we will be writing more.

For now, here is some background from a two-part article I published ten years ago in Intelligence Report, the magazine of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Anti-abortion Violence:  Two Decades of Arson Bombs and Murder

Anti-Abortion Extremists: Patriots and Racists Converge

Update [2009-5-31 19:59:49 by Frederick Clarkson]: The suspect police arrested is one Scott Roeder,

Officers said they had been looking for a white male who was driving a 1993 powder blue Ford Taurus with Kansas license plate 225 BAB. The vehicle is registered to an owner in Merriam, which is in the Kansas City area. Johnson County Sheriff's deputies stopped Scott Roeder on I-35 between the two main Gardner exits around 1:30 p.m. He surrendered without incident. Deputies did not find any weapons on him. "We shut down I-35 and directed him to come back to us. He complied with our request. He was arrested and taken into custody," Lt. Mike Phannestiel said. According to Phannestiel, Roeder is on temporary hold for Sedgwick County at the Johnson County New Century Detention Center near Gardner. Roeder is considered a person of interest at this time. He has not been questioned nor has his car been searched. They will release him into the custody of the Wichita Police. Several law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and KBI, had been called in to help with this high-profile case.
Rising Hegemon reports that he is a supporter of Operation Rescue.

This is where the rhetoric we hear from the politicized Christian Right leads.

by khughes1963 on Sun May 31, 2009 at 06:16:23 PM EST

How long have the writers here and at other sites been talking about The American Taliban? Maybe people will listen.
Randall Terry, Rush Limbaugh, and all of the other hatemongers need to be sitting at that defendants table along with the gunmen.
So much for framing arguments and trying to have dialogue. These terrorists have shown their true colors.
Time for the government to act.
As you can probably tell, I'm seriously pissed.

by Frank Frey on Sun May 31, 2009 at 07:18:38 PM EST

Check out this link


by mayfly on Sun May 31, 2009 at 09:30:57 PM EST

Taliban II is coming, and this time they wear a cross.

Seriously- what's next?   I've been expecting violence driven by fundamentalism/dominionism for some time now.  I expect either of two scenarios from this- either they will claim that this is a "loan madman" (thus trying to avoid their complicity) or there will be much more violence, indicating that they're ramping things up.  I hope that it won't be the second scenario.

by ArchaeoBob on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:04:40 AM EST

Already some of the theocrats' comments have been, "Of course, he (the murderer) shouldn't have done it--but it's to be expected that sooner or later it would happen.  

I think they are going with the "lone acting completely on his own"--shooter meme AND ramping up the violence.

by mayfly on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 09:25:44 AM EST

I'm also a bit unhappy with the news services.  The AP headline I'm looking at says "Kansas abortion provider was polarizing force".  They should say "Religious Right churches are polarizing this country with their attempts to force their beliefs on others!"

Something that I remember from the Clinton years really rings true in this situation.  I remember hearing time and time again "Words have power!!!"  Well, all the rhetoric from those anti-choice groups have power too- and this is the result.

I might add that I don't believe a single peep of their protestations.  They're a part of the problem, and not a part of the solution!!!

I remember how all us walkouts were tarnished when Murray went crazy.  I'd bet that in a lot of those churches, they still think that he was encouraged instead of the truth- people were trying to help him and get him help- and then when he posted his final post which indicated he was going to do something bad, they tried to get him stopped.  

In this case, I'd bet that they're going to talk publicly how wrong this was, but privately egg people on.  In the Murray situation, the people involved tried to STOP Murray, just the opposite of what I expect from those anti-choice groups.

by ArchaeoBob on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 11:27:44 AM EST

Orcinus notes that the murder was on the anniversary of the capture of Eric Rudolph, and contributors to Democratic Underground have been rooting around for information on Roeder.

by Richard Bartholomew on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 04:26:11 AM EST

by mayfly on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 09:27:04 AM EST

I am amazed that in the post-9/11 age of surveillance and repression, violent anti-choice terrorists were treated like a non-issue. Their banquets honoring those who committed acts of terrorism were in the DC area.

The suspected murderer of Dr. Tiller has been reported to be linked to 'Operation Rescue,' a militia in Kansas, and the 'Freemen.'

The history of theocratic terrorism is overdue for being acknowledged. There are even more hate leaders and pundits than ever before. Rev. Bookburn - Radio Volta

by Rev Bookburn on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 11:44:58 AM EST

This is appalling. I am heartsick and my heart goes out to Dr. Tiller's family. I think Andrew Sullivan has given this murder fair coverage. He is against abortion and pro-Ron Paul, but clearly against Christianist acts of murder and terror. andrewsullivan While Ron Paul may "mean well" and is not a raving maniac, I think his Sanctity of Life Act is part of the "rhetoric problem," including its support by his presidential choice Chuck Baldwin. unborn I think there's something fundamentally dishonest about referring to a day-old fertilized egg and an embryo and a fetus as an "unborn child." It's a wonder some of the Christianists don't try to criminalize miscarriages. If I am not mistaken, Ron Paul appeared on the View television program (see youtube) and referred to the fetus (or zygote) as an unborn child. It is difficult not to become fearful in a growing atmosphere of mindless fanaticism.

by Heretic on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 06:52:25 PM EST

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